Karl-Heinz Rummenigge has denied the club are trying to coax Real Madrid's Khedira into a Bundesliga return.
With his current contract set to expire in 2015, Spanish paper Marca had suggested that the Bundesliga champions have planned to convince the midfielder to remain in Madrid for another season, before landing him for nothing next summer.
However, responding to that same report, club CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge moved to rubbish such claims, calling the rumour ‘a canard’ and insisting that no discussions had ever taken place.
Nevertheless, with the Champions League-winners adding both Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez to their squad this summer, speculation concerning Khedira’s future in the Spanish capital is sure to persist throughout the transfer window.
Arsenal were reported to be close to a deal for the German international earlier this month but, while the club were willing to match his £20 million valuation, a dispute over wage demands saw the much-anticipated move collapse.
Now said to have lowered his request from a £200,000-a-week deal to a more affordable £135,000 package, the latest news means Arsene Wenger could well launch a fresh assault, with a hole in the centre of the lineup still to be filled, after reported interest in Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin failed to materialise.
Joining Real from Stuttgart in 2010, Khedira has appeared in 144 games during his four seasons with the La Liga side, recovering from a torn ACL suffered last November to return for the final few games of the 2013-14 campaign, helping the club to their 10th European title in the process.
Going on to play a crucial role in Germany’s World Cup win this summer, the 27-year-old’s recent form suggests Madrid would be wise to cash in now, with the Gunners looking to be one of the front-runners to his coveted signature.
After winning the FA Cup last season to claim their first piece of silverware since 2005, Arsenal have spent around £65 million so far, bringing in Alexis Sanchez, Mathieu Debuchy, David Ospina and, most recently, Calum Chambers, as they bid to improve upon 2013-14’s fourth-place finish.
However, with their other rivals all spending big too, it remains to be seen whether those signings will prove enough to help the squad mount a serious title challenge, though the further addition of Khedira to that list would of course be a massive help.
Will Arsenal be able to win the race to Khedira?